Author Archive

Part Of The Crew

September 26, 2020

I love sailing, and I love racing. We have dedicated positions as part of the crew. I am on the mainsail. Others can be found in the cockpit around me, others are at the mast, while still others are responsible for the bow, and of course, …( read more )

Through The Storm

August 21, 2020

It was just one of those days on the boat. The calm became a stiffening breeze, the breeze became a blow, and the blow just got stronger and stronger. We were in a race on the Bras d'Or Lakes of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and we …( read more )

Be Strong

August 1, 2020

It is impossible to travel anywhere in Nova Scotia, Canada, without confronting a sign reading "Nova Scotia Strong". Nova Scotia has had to learn to be strong in the first months of 2020. With the rest of the country, we had to respond to …( read more )

Balm In Gilead

October 17, 2019

It was one of those lazy, hazy August Sundays when more folks decide on the beach than sit on the bench at church. The smattering of folk warmly welcomed the summer guest preacher, who offered a sermon and gave us food for thought. There …( read more )

A Sabbath Moment

March 19, 2019

In a busy world, Sabbath is something that we need to seek intentionally. People need to pursue Sabbath moments in life. People in the church and in society alike need concrete examples of how to create Sabbath — in their car, through …( read more )

Fisherman's Cove

March 2, 2019

Picture a 12-kilometre (7-mile) hike with a 300-metre (1000-foot) drop from start to ocean. It's labelled difficult, and that means for seasoned hikers. Try it with all the camping gear necessary for mom and dad and three kids all under …( read more )

A Church Without Walls

February 15, 2019

In 2001, the Church of Scotland looked around and decided that something was terribly wrong with the church in Scotland. It wasn't just numerical decline. There was something wrong about how people — both inside and outside — perceived …( read more )

The Sound Of Silence

February 1, 2019

Growing up in the 1960s, I learned to love "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel. And the sign said: "The words of the prophets Are written on the subway walls And tenement halls And whispered in the sound of silence." It was …( read more )

The Year Of Sabbath Preparation

May 7, 2006

Imagine a negotiation between labour and management. The final touches are being put to the agreement, but there is still a sticking point — and the whole agreement may collapse unless it can be resolved. The issue? Time off. The … (read more)

Something Beautiful For God

July 26, 2003

What a mess of mismatched morsels! In front of her was food of every description brought to Evangel Hall (an inner city mission in Toronto, Ontario, Canada) all to provide a little something to satisfy the hunger of those who … (read more)

Get Cracking!

January 26, 2003

A sledgehammer? I'm holding a sledgehammer and tearing down a wall! This isn't what I thought when I heard the words "inner city mission", but here I am with crowbar, hammer, and helmet. Evergreen Mission to street kids is expanding, … (read more)

The Visit

January 19, 2003

We came to visit. This was little more than a boarding house and our Youth in Mission team was trying to offer a little variety to a summer's afternoon, a little variation to the tedium of the tenement house. The … (read more)

We're Stuck

January 13, 2003

Anyone over 40 knows how maddening it is to put on a favourite vinyl record and have it stick. "Tell me the old, old story… tell me the old, old story… tell me the old, old story… tell me the … (read more)

Living Alone

September 8, 2002

I never thought of myself as a person "living alone". I just happen to be living by myself for the first time in nearly three decades. But others saw my life differently and responded in wonderful and affirming ways. I … (read more)

Reaching For Home

May 17, 2002

It's been a tiring and gruelling day. I've been on my feet and on the road since before the first light of day, and it is now late at night. I just want to catch that last bus and go … (read more)

Being Present

April 29, 2002

Every Tuesday, I spend five hours sitting outside in the shade of the Better Hope Church, before going out into the community to visit church members. We advertise my presence in the church building as widely as possible. Better Hope … (read more)

I Love My Communion

April 26, 2002

Auntie Doris moved back to the East Coast Demerara, Guyana. She has no family, no close friends, and, until recently, has had no place to live. But she is a wonderful, gentle, caring octogenarian, now 82 years of age. Her … (read more)


April 21, 2002

I know this father. He invited me to his home. We ate and talked and shared our loves and concerns. He asked me to accompany him to his son's bedroom. "My son is very ill. He is suffering from OCD … (read more)

Just Gaffing

April 11, 2002

I was visiting Sister Esther a while ago, and, in the conversation, I asked her how the day had gone for her daughter Annie who had just turned 23. Birthdays are a big thing here in Guyana. Esther smiled, and … (read more)

The Old Woman

March 15, 2002

I'm at Woodlands hospital — again. I was here yesterday to have some tests done so that I could stay in this beautiful country of Guyana. The first two at the lab went fine and I paid the money necessary, … (read more)

Where Can We Find Andy?

February 23, 2002

Andy decided to adopt me. I don't know if he was told to look out for the new Canadian living in the Vreed en Hoop Parish manse, but that is what he was doing. What can I say about Andy? … (read more)

His Name Is Rohan

February 22, 2002

Let me tell you a tale about a modern-day Timothy who taught me the meaning of mission one hot Friday. His name is Rohan, and he is a member of the Leonora Presbyterian Church. He is studying electrical engineering and … (read more)

To The Unknown God

February 21, 2002

I walk the long road in the heat of the day from the Stalling (boat landing) to the Vreed en Hoop Presbyterian Manse that I call home. It is an amazing journey through temples, shrines, mosques, tabernacles, churches, meeting halls, … (read more)

Love What You Do – Do What You Love

February 20, 2002

The minibus careened around the corner, narrowly missing the horse and cart, and then drove bumper to bumper with the bus ahead. All this took place at about 100 kilometres per hour through crowded city streets in Georgetown, Guyana. I … (read more)

Do Not Judge By Appearances

February 19, 2002

I arrived home tired, still sick, and ready for rest and relaxation. But I forgot that I had to bring in my sheets, so out into the dark I went. On my way back, something clacked and ran across my … (read more)

Her Name Is Marissa

January 10, 2002

I met her quite by chance, or maybe not. I'm walking down Church Street in a blistering noontime heat in Georgetown, Guyana. Passing a vendor's stall that appears quite empty, I suddenly hear a faint voice, but I can't tell … (read more)

Preparing For God's Future #7

January 6, 2001

This is how we prepare for God's future. Celebrations for the millennium and the 125th anniversary of the Presbyterian Church will fade in time and memory. The Jubilee still stands before us as one of the crucial efforts and endeavours … (read more)

Preparing For God's Future #6

January 5, 2001

This is how we prepare for God's future. The prophet would have us consider God's will for the world and for the church as we embrace a new year dawning. "'For surely I know the plans I have for you', … (read more)

Preparing For God's Future #5

January 4, 2001

Our gospel passage echoes the same words as the passage in Samuel: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favour." God is the one who prepares for the future. From the beginning of time, … (read more)

Preparing For God's Future #4

January 3, 2001

Samuel is a child of promise. His mother Hannah's prayer may be found at the end of chapter 1 and the beginning of chapter 2, and explains why this simple story is told. Chapter 1 ends with Hannah saying: "For … (read more)

Preparing For God’s Future #3

January 2, 2001

It's time to Celebrate! "This day belongs to the Lord! Let's Celebrate and be glad today." (Psalm 118:24) It's time to Celebrate! "The Lord is our God, and he has given us light! Start the Celebration!" (Psalm 118:27) It's time … (read more)

Preparing For God's Future #2

January 1, 2001

The date on our calendar and our readings both tell us to prepare for God's future. The Old Testament reading does it by following the early life of Samuel, promised to God for future service. The New Testament reading does … (read more)

Preparing For God's Future #1

December 31, 2000

We have come to the close of our millennium celebration for the Presbyterian Church in Canada. This marks the end of one of my personal efforts to mark this millennium moment and the focus on Jubilee and the celebration of … (read more)


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